The National Chicken Council (NCC) released a statement calling the ethanol industry's latest bid for federal support "a very bad idea at a very bad time."

Several ethanol groups are asking Congress and the Obama Administration to back a revised subsidy program that would involve a tax credit directly to ethanol producers (as opposed to fuel blenders) and a monetized subsidy (rather than a credit against federal excise taxes due). "The ethanol industry's program will result in more corn going into ethanol and less into feed," said NCC communications director Richard L. Lobb. "This will result in higher production costs for our companies and, inevitably, will contribute to higher consumer prices for chicken and other protein products."

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Fuel blenders currently receive a 45-cent federal tax credit for each gallon of ethanol added to motor fuel. This credit is scheduled to expire at the end of 2010, though ethanol supporters are campaigning to extend the program by one year.